Recent claims that Britain’s “Cheddar Man” had “black skin” are not true, there is “no confidence in the DNA analysis” and there is currently no fool-proof way to predict the skin color of bodies from ancient skeletons, New Scientist magazine has admitted.
“We cannot place such confidence in the DNA analysis,” the magazine quoted Susan Walsh, the scientist whose theoretical model was used to “prove” that Cheddar man was “black.”
In an article titled “Ancient ‘dark-skinned’ Briton Cheddar Man find may not be true” (21 February 2018), the New Scientist—one of the world’s most famous scientific journals, published continuously since 1956—the publication admitted that the claims about Britain’s oldest complete Cro-Magnon skeleton were untrue.
When the “news” was first announced—to coincide with a UK TV show of the research (called the “The First Briton”), the claim that Cheddar Man had black skin was widely trumpeted as “proof” that the “first Britons” were in fact black.
This claim has since been used ad nauseam by the controlled media and race-denying leftists to claim that there are no “indigenous people” in Europe, all to justify the mass Third World invasion of that continent which is currently under way.
All informed observers knew straight away that there was something wrong with this news, particularly because previous DNA testing on the skeleton had shown that his mitochondrial DNA was European (haplogroup U5a, to be exact, the same lineage as 11 percent of all present-day Europeans, as detailed in Sykes, Bryan, Blood of the Isles, Bantam, 2006).
Now however, the New Scientist has admitted that “one of the geneticists who performed the research says the conclusion is less certain, and according to others we are not even close to knowing the skin colour of any ancient human.”
According to the magazine, researchers used a skin color prediction model developed by Susan Walsh at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis to make the claim that Cheddar Man’s skin color was black.
As the New Scientist explained:
To test it, Walsh and her colleagues took genetic data from over 1400 people, mainly from Europe and the US but also some from Africa and Papua New Guinea.
The team used part of the data to “train” their model on how skin colour and the 36 DNA markers are linked. They then used the rest of the data to test how well the model could predict skin colour from DNA alone.
The model correctly identified who had “light” skin or “dark-black” skin, with a small margin of error.
When Walsh and her colleagues applied the model to Cheddar Man, they concluded his skin colour fell between “dark” and “dark to black”.
Walsh stresses that the study doesn’t conclusively demonstrate Cheddar Man had dark to black skin.
“We cannot place such confidence in the DNA analysis,” she says.
For one thing, Cheddar Man’s DNA has degraded over the last 10,000 years.
“It’s not a simple statement of ‘this person was dark-skinned’,” says Walsh.
The New Scientist then went on to admit that scientists are “not ready to predict the skin colour of prehistoric people just from their genes.”
Quoting Brenna Henn at Stony Brook University, New York, whose work on the topic is widely known in the scientific world, the reason for this is because “the genetics of skin pigmentation turn out to be more complex than thought.”
The New Scientist explained that Henn and her colleagues had published a paper in November 2017 “exploring the genetics of skin pigmentation in populations indigenous to southern Africa—where skin colour varies more than many people appreciate.”
As the New Scientist explained:
Just weeks before, a group led by Sarah Tishkoff at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia had published a paper on the genetics of skin pigmentation in people from eastern and southern Africa.
“The conclusions were really the same,” says Henn. “Known skin pigmentation genes, discovered primarily in East Asian and European populations, don’t explain the variation in skin pigmentation in African populations. The idea that there are really only about 15 genes underlying skin pigmentation isn’t correct.”
It now seems likely that many other genes affect skin colour. We don’t know how.
If we are still learning about the link between genes and skin pigmentation in living populations, we can’t yet predict the skin colour of prehistoric people, says Henn.
Walsh’s model might succeed at this in the US, says Henn, because it was trained on DNA from people with similar ancestry to North Americans. But it may well fail elsewhere.
Henn’s team has tested an older model that aimed to predict skin colour from DNA.
When they put it to work among southern African populations, “it literally predicted that people with the darkest skins would have the lightest skin.”
The original paper upon which the Cheddar Man claims (“Population Replacement in Early Neolithic Britain”) were made has now been published by the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Preprint Server for Biology, from where it can be seen that the claims do indeed rely on Walsh’s theoretical model—which she herself said was not reliable.
The paper’s relevant part reads:
We predicted pigmentation characteristics for Cheddar Man using Hirisplex (Walsh, S. et al. Developmental validation of the HIrisplex system: DNA-based eye and hair colour prediction for forensic and anthropological useage. Forensic Sci. Int. Genet. 9, 150-161 (2014)) and a recently-developed method for predicting skin pigmentation (Walsh, S. et al. Global skin colour prediction from DNA. Human Genetics 136, 847–863 (2017)).
The paper admits that
“Previously, predictions on the level of skin pigmentation were mostly derived using two SNPs in SLC45A2 and SLC24A5 that indicate lack of hypo-pigmentation when in the ancestral state (Olalde, I. et al. Derived immune and ancestral pigmentation alleles in a 7,000-year old Mesolithic European. Nature 507, 225–228 (2014)).
“Hypopigmentation” is the scientific term for the “loss of skin color”—or in this case, very pale skin color.